GAYS BEWARE: Syphillis Cases Up 97% In Texas, Health Dept. Blames Jack'd & Grindr

Officials in Texas say syphillis cases are on the rise in Houston and Harris County. From January to August 2011, there were 174 cases of the sexually transmitted bacterial infection. From January to August 2012, there were 318 cases.

The current uproar in Texas says 39% of it’s patients who are finding out they have syphillis are also finding out they are HIV positive. And, 13 babies in Houston alone have been born this year with congenital syphillis.

Syphillis infections across the state were seeing a year-to-year downfall until 2012. Centers for Disease Control advisor Michael Thomas seems to know what makes this year’s numbers so shocking.

“Primarily we’re seeing an increase among men who have sex with men and the primary factor in that risk group is related to the internet, meeting partners over the internet and through social networking sites,” Thomas tells KTRK-TV

Syphilis begins with a raised sore that goes away and comes back weeks later as a rash. The rash may go away but still affect your brain heart and skin.

From KTRK:

The Houston Health Department is extending their hours so that more people can get treated or tested. HDHHS offers testing and treatment services at Sharpstown Health Services, 6201 Bonhomme; Sunnyside Health Center, 4605 Wilmington; and Northside Health Center, 8504 Schuller.
They recommend immediate testing for the following:

  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who engage in anonymous sex
  • Anyone who has had multiple sex partners
  • People who test positive for other sexually-transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia and HIV

Houston’s last syphilis outbreak occurred in 2007.

Information on testing sites and syphilis is available by calling HDHHS’ HIV/STD Information Hotline at 832-393-5010. For additional syphilis information, visit

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